Happy New Year! Resolutions? Goals? Nothing at all? Here’s a change you should make even if you’re not a “New Year” person. Let’s just say it – stop yelling at your kids!
So you had a bad day, flat tire, missed deadline at work. Maybe you’ve been home all day and the kids are “behaving like birth control.” Yes, parenting is hard and kids can test your patience. Still no reason to scream at them. Our job as leaders is to act consistently rather than react. You can not blame your child for your choices, even when little Johnny just poo-poo-Picasso-ed the bathroom wall.
Maybe you still think shouting at the kiddos is just no big deal. These days most folks don’t need a degree in psychology to know the long term damage of verbal abuse. Yes, abuse. And abuse is abuse, there is no reason to compare it: verbal (emotional), physical, sexual, etc. Long term emotional abuse can negatively impact brain development in many children.
Need more? Harvard research suggests:
Verbal abuse has as great an effect as physical or non-domestic sexual mistreatment.
Children are people. They deserve to be treated with the same level of respect as any other person – period. Here’s a test for you. If you wouldn’t speak to a co-worker by screaming and yelling, then you shouldn’t speak to your child that way. Additionally, your co-worker isn’t likely someone you LOVE (like your child). Yelling is NOT how you show someone unconditional love. Think about what type of love you want your teen or adult child to seek.
Also, you should not be blaming, name calling (insulting) or belittling your child. These, along with screaming, are examples of YOUR problems and YOUR lack of ability to maintain self-control. Find new coping skills.
So Where Do You Start?
The No Yell Challenge will ask you to answer some hard questions.
- Why am I angry?
- Why am I feeling frustrated?
- How can I control my feelings?
Put yourself in your child’s shoes. How does it feel to be yelled at or blamed for an accident. Do you feel safe when the person you love most screams at you or threatens you?
- Identify your triggers. Adult, like kids, can be set off by hunger and tiredness. Find all your triggers. Consider keeping a log book and write down what is happening when you yell.
- Understand expectations. Often we react because we set an unrealistic expectation. Kinda looks like this: we expect a certain outcome, it doesn’t happen, we get pissed. To cope, lower your expectations altogether. When you do set one, communicate it clearly and thoroughly.
- Rethink your attitude. So you get pissed off when your kids spills his lunch. Stop and use it as on opportunity to teach him how to carry his plate, how to sit properly at the table, how to clean up the mess, etc. Are you sending the message – you must be perfect and not ever make a mistake because if you do I’ll lose my shit and scream at you OR do you want to send the message we all make mistakes and we can learn from them, this is a safe place for you to make mistakes and I love you unconditionally.
Take The No Yell Challenge
Click on the PDF below, print it, fill it out and do! Ok maybe I over-simplified. Encourage the entire family to participate. Determine how many days you will vow the first time around. Make it achievable. Make sure everyone understands that if you yell you start over until you fulfill your commitment. Once you reach the goal, take the challenge again but longer continually increasing until you’ve formed a solid habit of not yelling – ever.
*screaming pillow clause
If you should find yourself in a situation that would normally have you shouting, you are frustrated and can not find any other ways to recover from your anger, you may explain to those around you that you are implementing the “screaming pillow clause.” You may go into another room and scream into a pillow. This is a short term coping skill and should be replaced with better anger management approaches. Also, there may be laughing and that’s perfecting acceptable…because really.
Please participate in this challenge, share it with your partner and your friends. If the yelling and screaming continues it won’t just tear down your child, it will destroy your relationship.
So how many days will you pledge to for the first round?
Also, join the Facebook event – support and encourage others.